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Oct 06

Spicy Taco Gnocchi Skillet

Spicy Taco Gnocchi Skillet

This Spicy Taco Gnocchi Skillet may not be the most beautiful dish I’ve ever made (one-color dishes can be tough to photograph), but trust me, you need to try it. The soft potato gnocchi perfectly balances out the spicy kick from the homemade taco seasoning and the cheddar and sour cream give the sauce a rich, creamy texture. The corn kernels add sweetness which stands out in this spicy dish, and the whole thing comes together really easily for a one-pot meal everyone will love. Perfect for weeknights! Each serving is only 334 calories or 8 Weight Watchers points, but you’ll never guess it’s lightened up once you taste it.

Spicy Taco Gnocchi Skillet

So, if you read that first paragraph or looked through the ingredients, you may be looking at these photos and thinking “where’s the corn??” Sigh. When I made the recipe this time around to photograph I forgot to add the corn! /facepalm. I took the corn out of the freezer and when I took out my laptop out to read through all my recipe notes while cooking, the corn ended up behind it. It just completely skipped my mind and I didn’t even notice until I sat down to edit the photos. So…sorry that the photos don’t contain all the ingredients! I will try to make it again soon and take new pics, but I’m posting it now anyway because I wanted to get the recipe out here to you all. It’s so, so good.

Looking for more lightened up pasta dishes? Try my Sausage Tortellini Skillet, Cheesy Chicken Veggie Pasta Skillet, Chicken Cordon Blue Pasta Bake, Pumpkin Alfredo Tortellini SkilletTomato Soup Mac & Cheese, Creamy Pasta with Sausage and Mustard Seeds, Spicy Sausage PastaSpaghetti Pie, Pumpkin Mac & Cheese, Spicy Sausage and Eggplant Pasta Bake, Cheesy Taco Pasta and more in the pasta section of my recipe index!

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Spicy Taco Gnocchi Skillet

Yield: 6 (1 cup) servings


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder*
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes*
  • 1 tablespoon light butter (I use Land O’Lakes)
  • 16 oz wheat gnocchi (I used Wegmans brand, but DeLallo, Gia Russa and other brands make it as well)
  • 1 lb 95% lean ground beef**
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chunky salsa
  • 1 cup reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • ¼ cup fat free sour cream
  • 4 oz 50% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I used Cabot)
  • Chopped cilantro, to taste (optional)

*If you want to cut back on the spiciness of this dish you can reduce the quantities of these spices in the taco seasoning mix to your taste

**if you replace the ground beef with 99% ground turkey breast a serving will be 6 SP on the WW Freestyle program


  1. In a small dish, stir together the chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano and red pepper flakes until well combined to form a taco seasoning. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the gnocchi to the pan and stir to coat with the butter. Spread the gnocchi into a single layer and cook for 2 minutes until the bottoms begin to turn golden. Stir the gnocchi and cook on the other side for 2 more minutes. Remove the gnocchi to a side plate and reserve for later use.
  3. Reduce the burner heat to medium and place the ground beef in the hot skillet. Cook the beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it starts to brown. Add the onion, garlic and the taco seasoning from step 1. Stir together until well combined and continue to cook until the beef is browned and the onions are softened. Drain if necessary.
  4. Add the salsa, beef broth, corn kernels and the reserved gnocchi to the beef mixture in the skillet. Stir together and turn the heat up until the mixture comes to a boil. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to medium-low to simmer for 5-8 minutes until the gnocchi is softened and the liquid is somewhat reduced/absorbed.
  5. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the sour cream and about half of the shredded cheddar. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar over the top and cover with the lid for 1-2 minutes until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with cilantro if desired and serve.

Weight Watchers SmartPoints:
8 per (1 cup) serving (SPs calculated using the recipe builder on OR 6 SP if you use ground turkey breast or ground chicken breast

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
9 per (1 cup) serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on

Nutrition Information:
334 calories, 40 g carbs, 4 g sugars, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 27 g protein, 3 g fiber (from

Adapted from Kevin and Amanda, taco seasoning mix from allrecipes


49 Responses to “Spicy Taco Gnocchi Skillet”

  1. #
    Lesly — October 6, 2015 @ 4:13 pm

    This looks amazing, can’t wait to try!! My boyfriend is recently OBSESSED with your pumpkin alfredo tortellini, and I’ve already showed him this recipe 🙂

    I’m allergic to cilantro and dislike onions, so salsa is a tough one for me. Any suggestions on a salsa substitution?

    If not, I’m thinking I could maybe make my own, or find a copycat chilis salsa… the one they have is not only delicious, but so blended I can’t taste the onions. It’s the specific “crunch” that onions have, it immediately makes me cringe!! Haha I know, I sound crazy!! Oh well 🙂

    • Emily Bites replied: — October 6th, 2015 @ 4:18 pm

      I’m so happy to hear the pumpkin tortellini is such a hit! I hope you both love this one just as much :). If you decide not to make your own salsa you could probably just use canned diced tomatoes or Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chilies) and either should work fine and be onion free! 🙂

  2. #
    Lisa — October 6, 2015 @ 6:58 pm

    Seriously made me feel better about myself to hear that an expert cook like you can make mistakes like I am known to do! 🙂 Cannot wait to try this one! Looks and sounds incredible!

    • Emily Bites replied: — October 6th, 2015 @ 8:17 pm

      Oh jeez, I mess stuff up all the time, haha. This one just happened to be obvious in the pics and I decided to post it anyway ;). I hope you love it!

  3. #
    Kim — October 7, 2015 @ 10:32 am

    I’ve been making your recipes for several years now and it has really helped me lose weight and keep it off. I recommend your site to everyone I know. Thanks so much for providing great tasting recipes. I have a question regarding this recipe – Is the Gnocchi dry in a box or the refrigerated kind? Thanks.

  4. #
    Lynn — October 7, 2015 @ 10:46 am

    This looks amazing! I love Tacos and Gnocchi so to have them both together sounds perfect! If you do not have all the spices do you think just a taco seasoning packet would work? 🙂

    • Emily Bites replied: — October 7th, 2015 @ 10:51 am

      Sure! The taco seasoning I make is pretty spicy, so a seasoning packet won’t have that (which can be good or bad depending whether you like spicy!), but it should definitely work. 🙂

  5. #
    Sara E. — October 7, 2015 @ 1:49 pm

    Hi Emily! I just adore your recipes…they are simple to make but full of flavor. I even like reduced fat cheese when it is in your recipes, which is a miracle 😉 But don’t ask me to go fat-free with the cheese, LOL! Anyway, when you say “chili powder” do you mean a chili powder that is a combo of other spices, or a straight Cayenne pepper chili powder?

  6. #
    Jennifer — October 7, 2015 @ 5:03 pm

    Yum! I’m totally going to make this . If it tastes anything like your Cheesy Taco Pasta, and it seems similar, we are going to have many happy tummies in our family!: )

    • Emily Bites replied: — October 12th, 2015 @ 5:40 pm

      It definitely has many similar flavors! 🙂

  7. #
    Charlsye — October 7, 2015 @ 9:12 pm

    Made this tonight and it was SO GOOD! I used cream cheese instead of sour cream since it’s what I had on hand and it turned out wonderfully. Thanks for sharing! It was my first time trying Gnocci and it was perfect! 🙂

    • Emily Bites replied: — October 12th, 2015 @ 5:40 pm

      I’m so happy you loved it! Good idea for a substitution with the cream cheese. Thanks so much for reporting back! 🙂

  8. #
    Laura C — October 7, 2015 @ 11:25 pm

    Emily, this looks wonderful. I think I’ll try it this week! Thank you so much.

  9. #
    Misty — October 9, 2015 @ 5:09 pm

    I made this today and it was delicious and very filling! My family loved it. It will definitely be a dish I make again and again.

    • Emily Bites replied: — October 12th, 2015 @ 5:34 pm

      I’m so happy to hear it was a hit! Thanks so much for letting me know 🙂

  10. #
    Laura C — October 10, 2015 @ 6:29 pm

    Emily, I made this for dinner tonight, and it was a huge hit! I will say that instead of your spice blend, I used 7 tsps of a taco seasoning mix I’d already made (salt-free) and had in my pantry. Otherwise I followed your recipe, and it was so easy and delicious. I never would have thought to use gnocchi in a Mexican-style dish. This is definitely going into the dinner rotation!

    • Emily Bites replied: — October 12th, 2015 @ 5:33 pm

      I’m so happy you loved it! 🙂

  11. #
    Lisa — October 12, 2015 @ 8:44 pm

    My daughter made this tonight and all I can say is “Sooooo freakin’ good!!” 🙂

  12. #
    Janis — October 15, 2015 @ 1:19 pm

    I am wondering if this could be counted as a simply filling recipe if using whole wheat gnochi. Any thoughts on that?

  13. #
    Jim — October 23, 2015 @ 8:38 pm

    Great flavor in this recipe and easy to make!! Thanks for putting it out there.

    • Emily Bites replied: — October 30th, 2015 @ 2:47 pm

      I’m glad you liked it!

  14. #
    Lisa — November 4, 2015 @ 8:26 am

    This recipe was delicious, I’m glad I finally made it. For those wondering if you can substitute a taco seasoning mix – I did and it tasted great! I’m confident Emily’s original spices would have been awesome, but in a time crunch the pre-made seasoning is perfect also.
    Also, I used sweet potato gnocchi – that was what my store had – and it gave the meal a really nice, complimentary sweetness to it!
    Thanks again Emily!

  15. #
    Allie — January 4, 2016 @ 9:03 pm

    Stop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW. Go to the store & buy these ingredients & cook this! It was super good & easy to make! My husband absolutely loved it. They didn’t have WW gnocchi at my grocery store. I made I with regular potato gnocchi so I don’t know the points, but will be making again as soon as I find the right gnocchi. (And I left out the corn on purpose.) Thanks again Emily!

    • Emily Bites replied: — January 10th, 2016 @ 12:00 am

      I’m so glad you loved this one!

  16. #
    Rebecca — January 9, 2016 @ 9:32 pm

    Hello from Australia! I recently came across your site through a WW forum and am looking forward to making this for dinner tonight. Just wondering if the leftovers can be frozen? Thank you

    • Emily Bites replied: — January 9th, 2016 @ 11:33 pm

      Hi Rebecca! I have never actually frozen this so I really can’t say for certain, I’m sorry! If you try freezing it, please report back! 🙂

  17. #
    Danielle — January 14, 2016 @ 10:30 am

    I have purchased frozen gnocchi for this recipe. Do I need to boil it prior to using it? Or will it cook entirely in the pan?

    • Emily Bites replied: — January 15th, 2016 @ 8:45 am

      I have never used frozen gnocchi before so I’m honestly not sure. I’m guessing you can use it in the recipe but it might just take longer to cook? Let me know how it turns out!

  18. #
    Betty — March 8, 2016 @ 11:51 pm

    This was so amazing!!!! It reminded me of chili. Super filling too. I did have a hard time finding the whole wheat gnocchi. I ended up ordering a pack of 6 on Amazon. Which is fine by me because I’ll be making this again and again. Thank you!

  19. #
    Jasmine — March 23, 2016 @ 5:41 pm

    Made this today and the whole family loved it, even my picky 5 year old! This will be a common dish in our household now

  20. #
    Amy — March 28, 2016 @ 6:20 pm

    Can you put this in the crockpot and if so what would you recommend

    • Emily Bites replied: — March 28th, 2016 @ 6:52 pm

      Hi Amy,
      I’ve only ever made this as a skillet meal. Not sure how gnocchi does in the crock pot!

  21. #
    laurel — April 4, 2016 @ 5:30 pm

    hi emily!

    i cannot, for the life of me, find wheat gnocchi anywhere during my weekly commute. i’ve tried four stores with no luck. 🙁 how would the potato gnocchi change the WW points value of the dish? and would wheat pasta be a viable substitute? just troubleshooting here… i could also order the pasta on amazon i suppose.

    keep up the great work! thanks for the great recipes.

    • Emily Bites replied: — April 4th, 2016 @ 5:49 pm

      It looks to me like using regular gnocchi will add a point per serving, but you may want to check by using the recipe builder with whatever brand you use. Hope that helps!

  22. #
    Lauren — April 12, 2016 @ 10:10 pm

    This sounded so wrong it might actually be right, and it is! I’m a good Italian girl, known for making her own ricotta gnocchi from scratch but I also love Mexican food so this recipe spoke to me from the beginning, bizarre as I thought the combination was. I made it last night and it is amazing. The corn is needed to add a little sweetness because this is spicy (my nose started running from the spice) and the gnocchi gives the needed starch to cool it off as well but all in all, this is the coolest, most uniquely delicious Mexican dish I’ve ever made!

  23. #
    Ricayla — April 13, 2016 @ 11:58 pm

    I just found your blog a few days ago after a friend of mine linked you in one of the meals she made and posted on instagram. I scrolled through your recipes and can’t wait to try them all!! This is the second recipe I’ve tried of yours and I’m finding that you really don’t disappoint! My boyfriend and I loved this meal and the gnocchi is a really great addition. I never thought of using it in a taco setting but it was delicioussss. Thank you so much for all your recipes and posts, you’re making my dinners easy, tasty, and healthy!

  24. #
    Aimee — April 25, 2016 @ 9:18 am

    Do you think this could be made with ground turkey and chicken broth instead? I dont eat red meat, but this looks yummy! thanks!

  25. #
    Joy — October 13, 2016 @ 7:51 pm

    Tried this tonight and it was delicious! My family loved it and they never like anything that I cook….ever! Thanks Emily!

  26. #
    Dawn — November 6, 2016 @ 7:56 pm

    I made this tonight and my very picky husband LOVED it! Will be making again – it was so good!

  27. #
    Kim — January 26, 2017 @ 6:42 pm

    Made it for a second time today. We really like it. I did not put corn our sour cream in it and it was still good. My kids added sour cream to their own serving. Love making something and not having to figure out the points. Thank you!!!

    • Emily Bites replied: — January 30th, 2017 @ 11:10 am

      I’m so happy it was a hit for the second time 🙂

  28. #
    Chanda — February 19, 2017 @ 10:17 pm

    Did it still taste great without the corn?

  29. #
    Michelle — April 4, 2017 @ 11:39 am

    Have you made it with ground turkey?

  30. #
    Tracey — April 6, 2017 @ 8:01 pm

    Do you boil the gnocchi first or does it cook in enough liquid to make them pillowy? We only get the dry kind like you described in the box in the pasta aisle.

    • Emily Bites replied: — April 6th, 2017 @ 8:07 pm

      It will cook in the liquid!

  31. #
    Laura — April 29, 2017 @ 8:11 am

    We made this today and it was very good! My husband loved it and later he was like you know that gnocchi would be good with some chorizo. So we may have to try some creating of our own 🙂

  32. #
    Marie — July 25, 2017 @ 7:01 pm

    Oh my, this was ridiculously good! I made it exactly as you suggested since the points are already figured out. My only disappoint is that I could only have 1 cup . Thank goodness for leftovers, can’t wait for lunch tomorrow!

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